SHILLONG, Sept 21: Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Thursday said the government has increased manpower along the inter-state border following the alleged formation of a new militant group called United People’s Front of Karbi Longri (UPFKL).
Replying to a call attention moved by UDP MLA from Mokaiaw, Nujorki Sungoh, Sangma said though reports are coming in but there is no specific intel or specific complaints by any of the people that they have received extortion notes (served by the UPKFL)
“(However), based on newspaper clippings (on the formation of the new militant outfit), we have increased our manpower in the border areas,” he said.
He said that a letter had also come to the government from the Jaintia Students’ Movement (JSM) on the matter based on which actions have been taken, adding that the government, the police and the district administration are working tirelessly to ensure peace prevail in the border areas.
Sangma said that the concerns expressed by the member are very important. The history of Block I and II is aware that for administrative convenience the transfer of Block I and II was done. This is very much available with the Government of Meghalaya, Government of Assam and Government of India.
“Keeping all these in mind, we have started engaging with the Government of Assam and Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC). I will refrain to go into the discussion and how we are moving forward. For the first time ever we have seen this kind of effort taken by the Government of Assam and Government of Meghalaya (to resolve the issue of boundary dispute),” he said.
Informing that the two States will be meeting in the first or second week of October for another round of talks, the chief minister said, “There will be a special focus given to Khanduli, Psiar, Block I and Block II keeping in mind the slight tension prevailing out there.”
On Sungoh’s request for construction of the road from Khatkhasla and Mojem area, Sangma said, “I have spoken to the deputy chief minister who informed that the detailed project report (DPR) is in a preparation stage. So action has been taken. But if any portion of the road comes under the disputed areas, some complications could come up.”
With regard to the request for setting up of a primary health centre at Psiar and Moolber, Sangma said these are areas which fall under the areas of difference but the government will ensure that the people don’t suffer.
According to him, even previous governments have also tried to focus on this matter to ensure development activities do not stop.
“We are trying to find out a solution in the long run to this and we are aware of the difficulties that are there in the area and many projects are being taken up,” Sangma said while assuring to examine all proposals given by the MLA.
“Regarding the new militant outfit, official complaints have not come to us in the form of FIRs. Intelligence reports have also not come to us and we are relying on newspaper clippings (about the arrest of two members of the militant group). But we don’t take anything lightly. We are taking things seriously to ensure protection required is given to our people,” the chief minister assured regarding the new outfit.
Earlier, Sungoh had alleged that the intention of the new militant group was to create fear among the Khasi-Pnar people living in the disputed Block I on the border between West Jaintia Hills and West Karbi Anglong specifically in the Labang-Nongphyllut-Pangam Raliang area.
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